Holding down a full-time job can be extremely draining. Although you may enjoy annual vacation time or work-free weekends, time spent away from the office can often be spent doing as little as possible. Furthermore, if we’re working from home, it can be just as difficult to break up our time into work mode and non-work mode.
Comfort food, eating out, drinking, and Netflix binges can begin to trump a weekend hike or gym session. Or, if you have a family of your own, your kids’ schedules become a full-time job all on their own, leaving what seems like little to no time for you.
Although most people understand the value of regular exercise, finding the time to work out is a common struggle. For many, and maybe you relate to this, it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get through everything on your to-do list.
Ultimately, this type of scenario and unfortunate loop is contributing to added stress, lower immunity, weight imbalance, hormone levels being off, obesity and other related illnesses. What’s more, a lack of physical outlets can cause increased levels of stress, which can lead to mental health issues.
While it is difficult to balance work, family life, and a healthy lifestyle, there are ways to find time to exercise. With a certain level of discipline and organization, you can reach your fitness goals.
We are all different in how we take on new habits. Our journey to getting more exercise in while working full time might take some experimentation, accountability, and trial and error. The most important this is that you KEEP GOING!
Here are five effective ways to exercise when you work full time.
1. Pack a Gym Bag
If you keep a gym bag packed with all your necessary workout gear, you are always minutes away from a potential workout. Take your gym bag with you everywhere you go.
It’s great to have a somewhat consistent, planned time you’ll get in your exercise. And if you have some amount of gear with you at all times, you might get a chance for a quick session whether it was planned or more spontaneous.
Items that you should have in your bag include a t-shirt, shorts, leggings, sports bra, sneakers, towels, toiletries, and a hat. If you need to buy workout clothing, check out curvesncombatboots.com for a great selection.
As far as resistance bands good on the go and easy to pack, I love these stackable bands with handles, including various loop bands too.
2. Commit to Super Short Workouts
One of the biggest reasons busy professionals skip a workout is the daunting thought of “I don’t have enough time”. This, of course, is also us simply falling into overwhelm and staying in the comfort zone of our existing routine, which ends in NOT exercising. If you find you make the excuse of not having time for an hour-long sweat sesh, so you skip it all together, try this!
Begin with as little as 5min for a workout if needed. Every moment of exercise adds up, and you’d be surprised by what you can achieve in five minutes.
By committing to five-minute workouts, you’re prioritizing exercise and dedicating time out of your day to it. The idea here is to begin. It might even feel like “I should be doing more than this”. But simply start with just a little more than you are doing now. Accomplishing this action will promote celebration of achievement, and in turn motivate you to keep going, and to eventually add on!
3. Rise and Shine with a Morning Workout
If you have kids or a significant commute, there’s a good chance that you already get up early. However, if you’re focused on finding time to exercise, getting up a half-hour earlier than usual provides the perfect exercise window.
An early morning workout boosts your metabolic rate, helps develop consistency, and improves your physical and mental energy for the day ahead. Studies have shown that people who workout in the morning are often 2x more likely to stick with it than those who workout later in the day.
4. Get Creative to Increase Overall Movement
Whenever possible, walk, run, or cycle instead of driving. Whether it’s traveling to work, to the store, running errands, or with your kids, walking or cycling is hugely beneficial for your physical and mental well-being.
It incorporates the benefits of being outside (fresh air, nature, vitamin D from the sun), while allowing for increased overall movement to improve cardiovascular health, mobility, posture, sleep quality and more. As a note, dedicated time to higher intensity exercise (2-4 hours a week if possible) and weight bearing activity, is also important and shouldn’t be replaced by this additional movement.
5. Set Goals, Make a Plan, and Have a System
In one of my free downloadable worksheets, I outline 5 mistakes you might be making on our way to consistent fitness. One of those mistakes is NOT HAVING A SYSTEM. A system includes the process of brainstorming “where am I now, and where do I want to go?”, as well as reverse engineering how we get there, tracking progress, celebrating achievement, and adjusting as needed.
If you’d like to learn all 5 common mistakes you might be making that block you from sustainable healthy habits, grab the free worksheet here!
For a useful guide on how to create and schedule your fitness routine, including what movements to do, check out the following link: https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/how-to-build-your-own-workout-routine/.